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ap football picks
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п»їAP sources: Lions trade Stafford to LA for Goff, draft picks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Detroit Lions are trading quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round draft picks and a third-round pick, a person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday night because the deal has not been completed and will not become official until the start of the new league year March 17. ESPN first reported the swap, which will include the Rams’ first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 along with their third-round pick this year.
The blockbuster trade of two former No. 1 overall draft picks will provide a fresh start for two durable starting quarterbacks who probably need a change of scenery.
Stafford asked to be traded shortly after the current season ended with the Lions’ third straight campaign with at least 10 losses. He has been one of the NFL’s most prolific passers during his 12-year career spent entirely in Detroit, but has never won a playoff game.
Meanwhile, the Rams’ coaching staff and front office have publicly expressed a clear loss of confidence in Goff in recent weeks, even after Los Angeles earned its third playoff berth and posted its fourth straight winning record during Goff’s four years under coach Sean McVay. Goff also led the Rams to the Super Bowl after the 2018 season.
Stafford, who turns 33 in February, has two years left on a $135 million, five-year contract. After a career spent attempting to escape from the weight of the Lions’ lamentable history, Detroit’s franchise leader in almost every statistical passing category is headed to California to join McVay’s consistent winner.
Goff is about to start a four-year, $134 million contract with $110 million guaranteed. Just like longtime teammate Todd Gurley, he is leaving the Rams before his huge contract extension even begins. Los Angeles likely had to pay a premium in draft picks to persuade the Lions to take on Goff’s deal.
The Lions had several offers for Stafford, and they all included first-round picks, according to another person with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because those details were not announced.
Stafford was made aware of the teams that wanted to acquire him, and the Rams were one of the franchises he was excited about potentially joining, according to the person.
Stafford already has friends and a place to stay on the West Coast: Stafford owns an estate in Newport Coast, southeast of Los Angeles in Orange County, and he is a childhood friend and former high school teammate of longtime Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Although the Rams didn’t confirm the trade, their official Twitter account tweeted at Kershaw , asking him: “Have you heard from an old friend today?”
The familiarity of these two franchises’ front offices likely helped the difficult deal: New Detroit general manager Brad Holmes just left his job as the Rams’ director of college scouting under general manager Les Snead earlier this month.
Goff was the most recent first-round pick made by the Rams back in 2016. Snead has now traded away his top pick or moved back in seven consecutive drafts to acquire top talent including Goff, receiver Brandin Cooks, All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey — and now Stafford.
The Rams went 10-6 this season and beat NFC West champion Seattle in the playoffs before losing at Green Bay despite a second straight mediocre season from Goff, who hasn’t emerged as an elite quarterback after five seasons in the league. Goff passed for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns — his lowest total since his rookie year — with 13 interceptions and six lost fumbles over 15 games.
Stafford appears to be a clear upgrade at the most important position for McVay, whose reputation as an offensive mastermind has taken several hits over the past two years while Goff and a stagnant skill-position talent pool struggled to execute his schemes effectively.
Goff, the fourth-leading passer in Rams history with 18,171 career yards, frequently appeared to be a budding star in his first two seasons under McVay when the Rams ranked first (2017) and second (2018) in the NFL in points scored. He hasn’t built on that success: Goff’s 38 turnovers over the past two seasons are the second-most in the NFL, and the Rams’ inconsistent offense was largely carried this season by its defense.
During the 2020 finale, Stafford surpassed the 45,000-yard mark in the 165th game of his career — the fewest games an NFL player needed to reach that total. He threw three touchdown passes in that game against Minnesota, raising his career total to 282.
Like many of Stafford’s accomplishments in Detroit, they were marred by a loss as the Lions fell to 5-11 for their third straight double-digit loss season and his career record dropped to 74-90-1 in the regular season.
Shortly after last season, Stafford asked to be traded and spared from another rebuilding project. The Lions asked him to wait until they hired a new general manager and coach, but luring Holmes from the Rams to run Detroit’s front office and giving New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Brad Campbell a shot to be a head coach again didn’t change his mind.
Detroit drafted the strong-armed Stafford out of Georgia with the hopes he could end the Lions’ drought of just one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title.
Stafford became one of the NFL’s most productive quarterbacks, but went 0-3 in the 2011, 2014 and 2016 postseasons.
Indianapolis, Washington, New England and San Francisco were among several teams believed to have expressed serious interest in acquiring Stafford, who earned his only Pro Bowl selection in 2014. Goff is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
Stafford was AP’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 after bouncing back from an injury-stunted start to his career. He is No. 16 on the league’s career list with 45,109 yards passing and 282 passing touchdowns while playing on just four winning teams and no division champions.
Playing for a team that was often trailing, he led 31 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career and earned 38 victories with game-winning drives.
Detroit drafted Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah last year No. 3 overall, passing on quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert.
The Lions have the No. 7 overall pick this year, and now that they have a veteran quarterback, they may draft a player to improve an awful defense. Detroit’s defense set franchise records by allowing 519 points and 6,716 yards last season, breaking marks set by its winless team in 2008 and ranking among the worst ever in the league.
The Lions will face the Rams next season at SoFi Stadium.
AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.


Ap football picks.
By Barry Wilner 54 minutes ago Someone will make history Sunday in a Super Bowl so filled with storylines it.
Falcons executive Steve Cannon earns Salute to Service award.
By Barry Wilner Feb. 03, 2021 09:00 AM EST Atlanta Falcons executive Steve Cannon is the recipient of the NFL's Salute to.
NFL awards $50,000 to Light Lace sensors in 1st & Future.
By Barry Wilner Feb. 02, 2021 09:29 PM EST The NFL has awarded a $50,000 grant to Organic Robotics Corporation (ORC) of.
NFL scrambles to keep charitable Super Bowl events in Tampa.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 30, 2021 02:30 AM EST Befitting the championship game of the nation's most popular sport, the Super.
Defense could be decisive in Super Bowl of dynamic offenses.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 29, 2021 03:33 PM EST Suggesting that defense could decide this Super Bowl might seem like heresy.
Chiefs trying for first Super Bowl repeat win in 16 years.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 28, 2021 01:53 PM EST Do it again? Not in the NFL, at least not lately.
NFL's 1st & Future to award $150,000 on television show.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 26, 2021 12:00 PM EST The NFL is bringing its awards for novel advancements in athletes’ safety and.
On Football: Brady in the way of Chiefs' 2nd straight title.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 25, 2021 02:49 AM EST Considering that there has been no repeat NFL champion since the 2004 season,
NFC Matchups: Where else to start but Brady and Rodgers?
By Barry Wilner Jan. 22, 2021 01:30 PM EST More than 100 players will suit up for Sunday's NFC championship game, so try.
Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 22, 2021 01:07 PM EST Two teams so absent from championship history for so long until recently face.
After 4-0 weekend, can Pro Picks get Super Bowl teams right?
By Barry Wilner Jan. 22, 2021 12:25 PM EST Not to brag — well, yes, to BRAG — Pro Picks was perfect straight up last.
Still playing: Bills, Bucs risen from Super Bowl droughts.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 18, 2021 02:40 AM EST In the 1990s, the Bills buffaloed their way to four successive — if not.
Gutsy or insane? Depends on the outcome of tough calls.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 17, 2021 08:50 PM EST Gutsy or insane? Depends on the outcome.
Tight games this weekend, with one upset projected.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 15, 2021 01:47 PM EST Aaron, meet Aaron. And Aaron. Aaron Donald, the unanimous.
On Football: Defenses rise to task in NFL postseason.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 11, 2021 02:32 AM EST The lasting memory of the offenses for Seattle, Tennessee and Chicago this.
Browns advance, Brees to meet Brady, Lama Jackson a winner.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 10, 2021 04:35 PM EST The NFC divisional round will give fans a third-time treat: another meeting.
Brady and Bucs, plus Bills and Rams win NFL wild-card games.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 09, 2021 05:22 PM EST Old hat for Brady, new thrills for Buffalo. And a defensive.
Donald, Kelce unanimous AP All-Pros; Rodgers, Henry chosen.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 08, 2021 12:02 PM EST Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce were.
Bucs and Browns reach territory Tom Brady visits annually.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 08, 2021 10:51 AM EST Let's see: Tom Brady and his six Super Bowl rings versus a 7-9 division winner.
NFL awards 13 new grants under Inspire Change initiative.
By Barry Wilner Jan. 08, 2021 09:00 AM EST The NFL expanded its social Justice initiative Inspire Change on Friday by.


Ap football picks.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has selected three people who have served during the coronavirus pandemic as honorary captains for the Super Bowl along with inaugural poet Amanda Gorman for an original poem.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday that educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Marine veteran James Martin will take part in the coin toss on Feb. 7 in Tampa, Florida. The trio was picked for embodying the NFL's message of “It Takes All of Us” this season.
Gorman, the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, recited “The Hill We Climb” at the Biden inauguration Jan. 20. She will recite her poem about the trio's impact before the game, which will be televised and shown inside Raymond James Stadium.
Davis made sure to get his students and their families in Los Angeles devices and internet access, and he also hosted tech workshops to help people learn how to use the devices.
Dorner, who lost two grandparents to COVID-19, is the COVID ICU nurse manager at Tampa General Hospital and represents healthcare workers across the country as honorary captain.
Martin helped veterans, high school athletes and local youth connect virtually through the Wounded Warrior Project and by livestreaming events in Pittsburgh. He volunteered to livestream every home football game for Aliquippa High School so families could watch. He also has taken in needy children in his neighborhood.
“During this incredibly challenging time in our lives, Trimaine, Suzie, and James have exemplified the essence of leadership, each in their own way,” Goodell said. “We are grateful for their commitment and proud to share their stories and recognize them during this special moment on Super Bowl Sunday.”


College Football Rankings.
Alabama Beats Ohio State 52-24 To Win The National Championship.
AP Top 25 Updated Feb 4, 2021.
Others Receiving Votes.
Appalachian State (41) 9-3; Tulsa (35) 6-3; Army West Point (24) 9-3; Oregon (21) 4-3; TCU (12) 6-4; Memphis (12) 8-3; Washington (10) 3-1; UAB (10) 6-3; Nevada (7) 7-2; NC State (7) 8-4; Wisconsin (3) 4-3; West Virginia (1) 6-4; Marshall (1) 7-3;
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College Football Picks: Conference title game spots on line.
The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Southeastern Conference, American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt championship game matchups are locked in, leaving no drama this weekend in those leagues.
The ACC even went ahead and gave No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson the week off ahead of the Dec. 19 showdown.
What’s left to be decided in college football?
Conference USA: This is a little complicated because Marshall (4-1 in conference), which was in position to clinch the East Division by beating Charlotte, can’t play because of COVID-19 issues and injuries. Because Marshall beat FAU (4-1), the Thundering Herd has clinched without playing even though FAU has a game left. UAB can clinch the West by beating Rice. If not, UTSA is West champ.
Pac-12: No. 16 Southern California (4-0) likely wins the Pac-12 South by beating UCLA. The uncertainty comes from No. 21 Colorado (3-0). The Trojans and Buffaloes had their game canceled so the tiebreaker will be the College Football Playoff rankings. The Trojans were 15th and CU was 21st this week. The Buffs play Utah this week. In the North, the winner of Oregon-Washington would be champ if it is played.
Mountain West: Boise State is in the title game if it beats Wyoming against the winner of San Jose State-Nevada. If Boise State loses, it gets more complicated.
Mid-American Conference: No. 24 Buffalo was finally declared the East Division champion Wednesday. The Bulls will face the winner of Ball State-Western Michigan.
And then there is the Big Ten, where the drama has been more off the field then on but things are tracking toward No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Northwestern , regardless of this weekend’s results.
No. 1 Alabama (minus 32) at Arkansas.
Tide has won 13 straight in the series, including the last five by an average of 46-18 . ALABAMA 45-16.
LSU (plus 23) at No. 6 Florida.
Tigers have not shown much desire to be playing out this season . FLORIDA 49-21.
No. 20 North Carolina (plus 3) at No. 9 Miami.
Hurricanes still feel a little fraudulent as a top-10 team . NORTH CAROLINA 31-28.
No. 11 Coastal Carolina (minus 13 1/2) at Troy.
Weird sandwich game for the Chanticleers between last week’s BYU showdown and next week’s Sun Belt title game . COASTAL CAROLINA 31-21.
No. 12 Georgia (minus 13) at Missouri.
Tigers have been surprisingly good under first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz, but an upset over Georgia would be the crown jewel . GEORGIA 35-24.
No. 13 Oklahoma (minus 14) at West Virginia.
Sooners are the only Big 12 team the Mountaineers have not beaten since moving to the Big 12 in 2012 . OKLAHOMA 35-17.
San Diego State (plus 16 1/2) at No. 14 BYU.
Cougars look to bounce back from first loss of the season . BYU 42-20.
Illinois (plus 14) at No. 15 Northwestern.
Wildcats have won five straight and seven of eight, their most dominant run in series that covers 111 games . NORTHWESTERN 24-13.
No. 16 Southern California (minus 3) at UCLA.
Been a little tough to tell how seriously to take this Bruins uptick, but they currently lead the Pac-12 in defense at 5.12 yards per play . UCLA 27-24.
No. 25 Wisconsin (minus 1 1/2) at No. 19 Iowa.
Badgers’ usually reliable running game has not been and they are minus-2 in turnover margin. They have a really good defense, though . WISCONSIN 21-18.
Utah (minus 1 1/2) at No. 21 Colorado.
Utes have won seven of nine since the teams joined the Pac-12 together in 2011 . COLORADO 24-23.
No. 23 Texas (minus 29 1/2) at Kansas.
Longhorns have questions surrounding the future of their coach, plus uncertainty about whether they can even play because of COVID-19 cases. If they do . TEXAS 35-10.
Akron (plus 32 1/2) at No. 24 Buffalo.
Zips broke a 21-game losing streak last week; two straight seems unlikely . BUFFALO 49-21.
Navy (plus 7) at Army — @kyleinmke.
First time the game will be played at West Point since 1943 . ARMY 24-20.
Arizona State (minus 11 1/2) at Arizona — @ArtWMoore.
Sun Devils have won three straight and six of eight in the Territorial Cup . ARIZONA STATE 31-17.
Houston (minus 5) at Memphis — @jefe172.
Cougars, crushed by postponements and cancellations, are playing seventh game after intending to start in September; Tigers are slogging to the finish of a rocky season . HOUSTON 28-21.
Michigan State (plus 14 1/2) at Penn State — @SteveWildzNB.
After 0-5 start, Nittany Lions looking for a three-game winning streak and a second straight win in the Land Grant Trophy rivalry . PENN STATE 24-13.
Last week: 13-6 straight; 9-11 against the spread.
Season: 150-57 straight; 102-104-1 against the spread.




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